The RVCA operates a number of permanent streamgauges , where a continuous record of flow (including baseflow — measured through the dry summer months and frozen winter months) is maintained. However, they are few in number — generally only one or two within each major tributary of the Rideau.
Baseflow can be highly variable along the length of a stream, since it is influenced by geological (surficial soils and bedrock conditions) and the groundwater table. Measurements of streamflow are therefore needed at numerous locations in the watershed. The baseflow monitoring effort consists of collecting manual estimates of streamflow at as many locations in the watershed as possible when there is little or no rainfall or snowmelt runoff in the stream, to augment the continuous streamflow measurements obtained at the recording gauge(s). Baseflow measurements will be taken in the same sites every year to build a long term database. When sufficient data is collected from the baseflow monitoring sites, the relationship between the baseflow recorded at the permanent gauges and other points in the watershed can be derived.
When sufficient data is collected from the baseflow monitoring sites, the relationship between the baseflow recorded at the permanent gauges and otehr points in the watershed can be derived.
The RVCA conducted its first baseflow survey in the late summer and early fall of 2003. The Jock River watershed was explored and surveyed and the Tay River and Kemptville Creek watersheds were inspected for suitable baseflow survey sites. Due to a very wet autumn it was not possible to get excellent baseflow readings at many sites. Next summer and fall the Tay River and Kemptville Creek Watersheds will be completed and the Jock River watershed will be revisited, time and weather depending. Baseflow measurements will be taken at the same sites every year.